The Rural Girl Child Mentorship Uganda (RGCM Uganda) project.

Female nursing students in their uniform

PCE (Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation) seek to break the cycle of poverty, promote sustainable, community-driven change and help empowered communities to take charge of their own development. PCE’s main focus is on capacity building in and for rural communities, especially the education and empowerment of vulnerable girls, women and children. Community participation and leadership is key to the organisation and they believe this helps sustain positive change. PCE aims to do this by enhancing knowledge and skills within rural communities and to promote the exchange of information and best practices through education, mentorship, advocacy and strategic partnerships for social, cultural and economic development.

The RGCM Uganda project was founded in 2012 and is a growing mentorship programme designed to help poor rural Ugandan girls attend school. Only 1 in every 200 rural Ugandan girls receive any post-secondary education, often due to reasons such as chronic poverty, HIV, cultural beliefs that education is “wasted” on girls, long-distance walks to schools, lack of sanitary support, domestic violence, and other challenges.

Each rural Ugandan girl involved in the project is connected with a mentor who cover funding at the Secondary and Tertiary/ University levels and also helps nurture her vision for a brighter future. To date, the program has supported 195 young women, and 25 young men. The program covers boarding secondary schools, nursing courses, primary schools teacher training and bachelor degrees. The funding pays for fees, meals, accommodation, equipment, uniforms, transportation and letter exchanges.

Since the beginning of the project, 18 students have graduated from different colleges and universities. In December 2018, 19 university students will graduate, 9 nurses and 1 primary school teach will also complete their final examinations in December.

Fighting Hidden Hunger – organic vegetable garden project in schools

Children planting in a field

The aim of CAMAAY’s (Connected Youth of Cameroon) ‘Fighting Hidden Hunger’ programme is to teach children to grow nutritious food to improve health and knowledge of sustainable farming practices.

CAMAAY have worked with schools and the community to set up gardens within six schools in Bali, Batibo and Oku regions.  These projects give children the seeds, tools, information and experience to grow organic vegetables that supply necessary nutrients without chemicals.

The aim is to train tomorrow’s farmers in techniques that increase productivity, model effective agricultural practices and protect the environment. The projects will help improve family diet in Cameroon, provide extra income from sales of surplus produce and reduce dependency on outside aid.

From an educational point of view, the project provides school children with practical opportunities for learning science and maths, improves the school environment with fences and gardens and strengthens the partnership between the school and community

So far, the project has been successful in improving the health of children, enhancing the knowledge of sustainable gardening and occasionally providing additional food or seeds for the broader community.

Integrated Development Approach through Training and Infrastructure to Improve Education, Health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Manga Cluster Area in Lake Victoria Region, Kenya.

New desks for the school

Health and Water Foundation (HWF) run a programme called Integrated Development Approach through Training and Infrastructure to Improve Education, Health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Manga Cluster Area in Lake Victoria Region, Kenya. The programme has many aspects, but a large section is based around children’s education. In total there are twelve schools which were supported by the project.

Overall 12 schools have been rehabilitated, there have been 25 new classrooms constructed and new desks bought in for both pupils and teachers, this also includes replacements of old, dilapidated desks. Quality control checks are conducted three times a year to make ascertain usability and quality of construction works. Teachers are provided with both training and incentives (as salaries are not paid by the government) in order for the children to receive the best education possible.

HWF has also made education more accessible. In order to improve access to the different schools, the project improved 1km of public roads to the schools. Each of the schools receive a recreational pack and two educational kits including educational charts and pencils annually, as well as story books in different languages. Every child who attends the school is given a rechargeable LED light to enable the child to study at home, and all schools are provided with a generator in order to recharge the lights. Parents, Teachers and children are taught how to use the lights in order to make best use of them. HWF has also made school more accessible to girls, as sanitary pad packs are provided within all schools.

Kindergarten programme

Two children playing with alphabet toys

Stung Treng Women’s Development Centre (SWDC) has two children’s education aspects. A school sponsorship education program and they also run a nursery for children aged 3-6.

The pre-school and kindergarten programme is aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 6. The aim is to provide children with the foundation that they need to be successful in life as well as raising the economic wellbeing of the region in the future. According to UNICEF, less that 26% of Cambodian children between the ages of 3-5 have educational opportunities and parents can often not afford both the direct and indirect costs of sending their children to school. SWDC aims to change this.

The kindergarten started off aiming at the children of employees of SWDC, but because of it’s huge success, can now offer an education to the children situated within the town of Stung Treng. So far it has been operational for 13 years and has seen 864 children ‘graduate’.

The Kindergarten is offered free of charge, with breakfast and snack meals offered throughout the day to increase the protein levels in the children’s diets. Toys and books are available to all children, meaning parents are not struck with any indirect costs of education. Children who attend the Kindergarten are then filtered into the school sponsorship programme. In addition to the free education, children are taught about nutrition and cleanliness, and any health concerns can be diagnosed and treated on site.

School sponsorship programme

Child receiving a school uniform

Stung Treng Women’s Development Centre (SWDC) has two children’s education aspects. A school sponsorship education program and they also run a nursery for children aged 3-6.

The school sponsorship programme is aimed toward the more deprived children in the area in order to enable them to attend both a public primary and secondary school. The programme supports 100 children per year, and has so far seen 1,144 children from impoverished families gain an education. The programme enables and encourages children from low income families to attend school and continue their education for longer than they would be able to without funding.

The programme increased in awareness of the value of education, by making it more accessible to families whom do not have the spare finance to afford an education for their child. It also increases the likelihood of employment for those children in the future.

In addition to the school fees being covered, the programme also provides a support pack, comprising of books, stationary, uniforms, sandals and money to pay for school administrative expenses. Bicycles are also provided for children who live a far distance from school.